“Beyond the experience both Lori and Kevin bring to these positions, they believe in and demonstrate District 155’s mission to inspire, empower, and nurture our students,” said Steve Olson, superintendent. “Their strengths align with our strategic planning goals specifically in the areas of student well-being and collaborative partnerships, which will benefit our students and move District 155 forward.”
Lori Ratliff is a proud alum of Crystal Lake South High School, and she will transition from her role as assistant principal for educational services into the vice principal position. She also has served as a humanities division leader and English teacher at South since 2002. Ratliff has worked to implement new social-emotional supports for students, create a new model of professional learning for teachers and help students connect career paths to course selection.
“I am so proud of the progress we are making to ensure that social-emotional learning is at the heart of our curriculum. I’m humbled and excited to serve my school and my district in this way,” said Lori Ratliff, Crystal Lake South vice principal.
Kevin Koeppen joined District 155 in 1999 and has served as a division leader of industry and careers and wellness for the last five years and department chair prior to that. He also served as an assistant athletic director and coach. Koeppen has initiated various partnerships with educational stakeholders and community members in an effort to connect curriculum to real life applications and expose students to career opportunities.
“Preparing young adults socially, emotionally, and academically for future endeavors beyond their high school years has always been a passion of mine. I believe it is imperative to give students opportunities to learn college and career-specific skills through all content areas in order to prepare them for their future endeavors,” said Kevin Koeppen, Prairie Ridge vice principal.
Joe Cole, vice principal at Crystal Lake South High School, and Lisa Connell, vice principal at Prairie Ridge High School, will retire later this year. Connell began her career in District 155 in 1986 and Cole joined the district in 1987.
“This has been a collaborative process between the board and representatives with our education association. We believe we have reached an agreement that allows us to retain and recruit high quality teachers while being mindful of our taxpayers,” said Adam Guss, Board of Education president.
A summary includes changes that will be instituted in the new collective bargaining agreement:
The new agreement provides an average increase in base salaries of 1.5% in each of the three successive years of the contract with corresponding total annual increases of 3.87%, 3.86%, and 3.87% in each of those same three years of the contract for teachers who have achieved a step increase due to experience in the District. When compounded, this contract represents a 12.0% total increase over three years to the salary and benefits (TRS, Health Insurance, Etc.) for teachers.
Elimination of mandatory union dues (so-called “Fair Share”) in keeping with the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court.
Increase in the stipend for traveling teachers who teach 30 periods per week and have more than 3 course preparations from $500 per semester to $1,500 per semester.
Post master’s degree college credit reimbursement to a maximum of 15 graduate credits annually in high needs areas as directed and approved by the district.
Teachers are only eligible to receive course reimbursement of $350 per credit hour for approved masters programs following the completion of two full years of teaching.
Salary caps (3% annually) for teachers within four years of eligibility for retirement.
A retirement “pipeline” providing 3% annual increases for four consecutive years for teachers who submit their irrevocable intent to retire letter.
Creation of a joint salary schedule committee charged with the mission to study alternative methods for teacher compensation.
“Our team and the district representatives came to the table with a shared commitment to do what’s best for our students, our schools and the long-term health of the district. We worked from that common ground to craft a fair deal that will allow us to continue offering our students the excellent experience they deserve,” said Devin Hester, D155 Education Association president.
The D155 Education Association ratified the agreement on Friday, January 18.
“The feedback we received during our strategic planning process this fall from more than 4,600 students and parents highlighted the quality education we offer in District 155 and emphasized our caring, dedicated faculty and staff. This agreement honors what we value as a community while continuing to be fiscally responsible,” said Steve Olson, superintendent.
Prairie Ridge’s “The Complete History of America (abridged)” fall play received a nomination for the 44th Annual Illinois High School Theatre Festival (IHSTF). The festival is at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign January 10-12.
More than 20 high school productions from around the state are selected to perform at the IHSTF each year. “The Complete History of America (abridged)” is 600 years in 6,000 seconds, Prairie Ridge performed this play in October. Prairie Ridge was nominated for full-length production.
IHSTF is the largest non-competitive high school theatre festival in the nation. This program showcases student performances. To do this, two or three theatre responders view a submitted project, then a discussion is held for the cast and crew, then responders complete a written recommendation form, and finally the Play Selection Committee reviews it and makes the final decision.
District 155 offers early registration for select summer school elective courses. The following summer school courses are available for early registration: Consumer Education, U.S. History, and Visual Arts and Technology.
Early registration is now open. Payments must be made by February 1 to reserve a spot in the class for your student. Cash and checks will be accepted. Checks should be made out to "Community High School District 155."
Click here to download the information packet and registration form. The early elective registration packet includes course descriptions, semester schedules, class location and transportation schedules, and other important information. Please contact the student services office at your student's school if you have any questions about registration. Return completed registration forms to your student's school registrars.
Registration for all other summer school courses will begin in March. Parents will receive a summer school packet for general and special education classes via email.
Important Early Registration Dates:
Early Registration Begins: January 7, 2019
Pay by February 1 to reserve class spot
First Semester: June 3 - June 21
Second Semester: June 24- July 16
No classes July 4 & 5
“We’re very pleased with the transition of the Haber Oaks facility within Crystal Lake South, and we’re glad that we were able to approve a purchase agreement so quickly,” said Adam Guss, Board of Education president.
The property located at 400 Haber Road in Cary previously housed the district’s alternative education program which was relocated to Crystal Lake South High School this past summer. The main building is approximately 13,000 square feet and sits on nearly three acres of land.
The board agreed to sell the property in August and approved a minimum acceptable bid amount of $700,000.
Details of the real estate sale will be released when the sale is finalized.
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) recognized 260 D155 students from the graduating class of 2019 as Illinois State Scholars, a prestigious honor.
Illinois State Scholars represent approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors from 757 high schools across the state. Students are selected based on a combination of exemplary ACT or SAT test scores and sixth semester class rank.
“Our students take pride in their learning and our teachers are committed to providing engaging lessons. This prestigious honor recognizes our students’ hard work and academic achievements,” said Steve Olson, superintendent.
The full list of D155 students named 2019-20 Illinois State Scholars are listed below:
Cary-Grove High School (70 Scholars)
Camargo Quintero, Juan
Cortes, Oscar Martin
Crystal Lake Central High School (54 Scholars)
St. John, Alyssa
Crystal Lake South High School (71 Scholars)
Prairie Ridge High School (65 Scholars)
District 155 proposed an estimated increased tax levy, however the district will pursue a state Property Tax Relief Grant which provides school districts an opportunity to lower the burden on local taxpayers. The district will permanently reduce its operating levy to flat or lower after the state notifies the district if it is awarded the grant in late January.
“We want our taxpayers to know we’re listening to them, and we understand their concerns about their tax bills. This year’s tax levy process, despite an estimated increase, will result in a savings to our taxpayers every year moving forward,” said Jeremy Davis, assistant superintendent of finance and operations.
The estimated savings for a $200,000 house is $53.14 for the District 155 portion of the tax bill. The tax rate for District 155 has dropped three consecutive years, and the tax rate is 12.7 percent less than it was in 2014.
“As one of the top performing districts in McHenry County, District 155 will have levied flat two of the past four years. We understand the impact great schools can have on local property values, and we’re proud to be part of a community that values education,” said Adam Guss, Board of Education president.
Please Save the Date for 8th Grade Night on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. If you have any questions regarding the event. PLease contact your future school's student services office. To learn more about the classes offered to incoming freshmen, please click here.
D155 will host its 11th Annual Parent University on Saturday, February 16 at Prairie Ridge High School from 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Click here to download the Parent University Packet & Registration Form.
Walk-in Registration 8:00 - 8:30 a.m.
Schedule Pick-Up 8:15 - 8:30 a.m.
Keynote Address: 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Breakout Session A 9:40 - 10:30 a.m.
Breakout Session B 10:40 - 11:30 a.m.
Breakout Session C 11:40 - 12:30 p.m.
About the Keynote Presentation
We are responsible for raising a future generation of healthy, resilient adults. Developing confidence, problem solving strategies, distress tolerance and communication skills are fundamentals that are imperative for our children to learn before launching into adulthood. We also want our children to have confidence that they can handle difficult situations, overcome adversity, and even bravely face failure. In doing this, we prepare our youth to move beyond their physical and emotional boundaries, recognize their capabilities, know their strengths and weaknesses, and learn that failure is just as important as success.
About the Keynote Presenters
Jacqueline A. Rhew, LCPC and Dr. Robin Choquette have combined over 35 years working with professionals and parents clinically and have provided over 400 trainings both locally and nationally on a wide array of topics relating to parenting strategies and raising resilient children through goal directed parenting. Their approach
of purposeful parenting has helped hundreds of parents develop plans unique to their families, and gain confidence in their parenting strategies to help raise healthy and successful young people.
Each school year, students, teachers and parents across Illinois have an opportunity to participate in the annual statewide Illinois 5Essentials Survey. This survey is designed to generate a detailed picture of the inner workings of your child's school. As a parent, this opportunity will allow you to share your thoughts on the important elements of school effectiveness in a survey about your child's school.
On behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois 5Essentials Survey will be administered online by UChicago Impact at the University of Chicago. The survey gathers data related to five indicators that can predict important student outcomes, including improved attendance and larger test score gains. These five indicators that affect and predict school success are:
· Effective Leaders
· Collaborative Teachers
· Involved Families
· Supportive Environments
· Ambitious Instruction
Prior research in more than 400 schools has shown that schools that were strong on at least three of these "5Essential" indicators were 10 times more likely to improve student learning gains in math and reading than those that were weak on three or more Essentials.
All teachers and 6th through 12th grade students along with all parents will be responding to this survey. 5Essentials Reports will be generated for schools. These reports will be included in the State School Report Card.
Your participation in the parent portion of the survey will help us understand the conditions at your child's school and guide improvement. Your identity and survey responses will be kept completely confidential and will never be connected to you or your child.
The Illinois 5Essentials Survey will be conducted January 16 through February 15, 2019. To take the survey please visit https://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/ and select the appropriate survey to begin.
For more information about the Illinois 5Essentials Survey, or to view previous years' reports, please visit https://illinois.5-essentials.org.
Cada ano, todos los maestros, padres y estudiantes en Illinois tienen la oportunidad de participar en el estudio anual de 5Essentials. Este estudio está diseñado para generar información detallada del funcionamiento interno de la escuela de su hijo. Como un padre, esta oportunidad permitirá que usted comparta sus pensamientos sobre los elementos importantes de la eficacia de la escuela en una encuesta sobre la escuela de su hijo.
De parte de la Junta Estatal de Educación de Illinois, el Estudio de 5Essentials se administrará en línea por UChicago Impact de la Universidad de Chicago. La encuesta recoge datos relacionados a los cinco indicadores que pueden predecir resultados importantes para estudiantes, incluyendo mejor asistencia y calificaciones en las pruebas. Estos cinco indicadores que afectan y predicen el éxito de las escuelas son:
· Effective Leaders (Lideres Efectivos)
· Collaborative Teachers (Maestros Colaborativos)
· Involved Families (Familias Dedicados)
· Supportive Environments (Ambiente Soportante)
· Ambitious Instruction (Instrucción Ambicioso)
Investigaciones anteriores en más de 400 escuelas han demostrado que las escuelas que eran sólidas con al menos tres de estos indicadores "5Esenciales" tenían 10 veces más probabilidades de mejorar las ganancias de aprendizaje de los estudiantes en matemáticas y lectura que aquellas que eran débiles en tres o más indicadores "Esenciales."
Todos los maestros y todos los estudiantes en sexto a duodécimo grado, junto con todos los padres, responderán a esta encuesta. Informes de los 5Essentials serán generados para las escuelas. Estos informes se incluirán en el 'Boletín de Notas del Estado.'
Su participación en la encuesta para los padres nos ayudara a comprender las condiciones en la escuela de su hijo, y esa información se puede usar para mejorar la escuela. Su identidad y sus respuestas se guardarán en forma totalmente confidencial y nunca será conectado a usted o a su hijo.
El Estudio de 5Essentials de Illinois, se conducirá el 16 de enero hasta el 15 de febrero de 2019. Para tomar la encuesta visite https://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/ y seleccione la encuesta propia para empezar.
Para más información sobre el 'Illinois Estudio de 5Essentials', o para ver los informes de pasado, visite https://illinois.5-essentials.org.